Walter Mitty in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" daydreams about being courageous, yet in real life he is a coward, and a wimp. Walter Mitty has five different daydreams throughout the story. His first daydream is about him being a commander of a hydroplane. He has no fear, and he holds all the power, he tells the crew to do their work and they obey without question. "The crew looked at each other and grinned, "The Old Man"ll get us through," they said to one another." "The Old Man ain't afraid of Hell!" (1288). Walter is abruptly wakened from his daydream by his pushy wife who is yelling at him to slow down. Walter looks at his wife and realizes that she seems "grossly unfamiliar" (1288). She tells Walter that he needs to go see the doctor. She also reminds him to get overshoes and puppy biscuits, which he will soon forget about them.
Walter's second daydream is about him being a brilliant surgeon who has to save the life of the millionaire banker, Wellington McMillan. Mitty is calm and cool in this daydream, as he goes to inspect the banker because the other doctors are having trouble. The doctors in the operating room are in awe of Mitty. One congratulates him on a book that he wrote by telling him "A brilliant performance, sir" (1289). One of the machines that is keeping Wellington alive starts to give away, so Mitty goes over to the machine and fixes it with a fountain pen. Mitty is awoken from this daydream by a parking-lot attendant who is shouting at him, "Back it up, Mac!" (1289). Walter does not like the parking-lot attendant, because he thinks they are cocky. He talks about how he once tried to take the chains off his wheels but they got caught on the axles of his car. So a wrecking car had to come out and take them off for him. Walter thinks that next time he needs to get the chains off at the garage he will wear his arm in a sling so that they will then see that he couldn't possibly take the chains off himself.